Buvox Rushianikchyd
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California
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In a 2-player game the players have 4 cards (2 each) to resolve 4 dice that are rolled based on the rules (if I'm reading them correctly it says for a 2-player game roll 4 dice and each player resolves 2 dice)...

In a 4 player game, the players have 8 cards (again 2 each) to resolve 4 dice...

This makes any given die in a 4-player game approximately twice as likely to be resolvable as in a 2-player game (presuming the number of possible placement locations averages out over the cards in front of players)....

Is this intentional? Do I have the rules wrong?

To be clear, I don't necessarily find this to be a problem, but I do find it to be different than other games in how intentional it seems (for instance it would be easy enough to have players roll fewer dice, be responsible for resolving fewer dice or hold more cards at once in a two player game to try balance the difficulty).

(NOTE: The difference in difficulty levels doesn't really address this as it doesn't have a mechanistic impact within the confines of a single turn)

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Nushura
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Your math is wrong in many aspects.

It is not true that the chances of being able to place a die are doubled by doubling the number of cards. It is easy to see because you could draw repetitions (say, two cards that need a 6). More importantly, the chances you repeat grow the more cards you draw.

More importantly, you spend less time discussing and this is the core of the game.
 
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Buvox Rushianikchyd
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Quote:
It is not true that the chances of being able to place a die are doubled by doubling the number of cards. It is easy to see because you could draw repetitions (say, two cards that need a 6). More importantly, the chances you repeat grow the more cards you draw.


I mentioned that the assumption is that the number of spaces for dice on the cards averages out (over the course of many draws). The rough estimate of "twice as many spaces to potentially place a given die" holds up if you hold this equal, I believe (4 cards with some average number of spaces compared to 8 cards with some average number of spaces). It's the same deck of cards after all.

That point made, I don't really think the exact math is that important. As there is a clear proportional difference in cards and therefore a seeming proportional difference in difficulty.

Quote:
More importantly, you spend less time discussing and this is the core of the game.


I've done some thinking about the qualitative imbalances of different player counts and I'm fairly convinced they have a very marginal impact or (in most cases) balance out. For instance, your point about less discussion being required between 2 players than between 4, I think can be balanced by saying that in a 4-player game you have 1/4 of the people concerned with rolling and re-rolling unused dice, whereas in a 2-player game you have 1/2 of the team pre-occupied with these tasks (which are distracting and time-consuming). Incidentally, re-rolling unused dice is bound to happen much more in a 2-player game than in a 4-player game due to the aforementioned proportional imbalance between cards and dice.

I think we could probably go back and forth citing qualitative imbalances and counter-balances but I'm more curious about the proportional imbalance and if there's a reason for the design being the way it is (mathematical or otherwise).
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Jeff M.
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There is an official 2 player variant that makes the game a little easier, perhaps it offsets any increased difficulty?

official variant rule wrote:
If you defuse a bomb and still have a die or two left to place, you can clear the defused bomb, take a new bomb card, and then you can place your unplaced dice onto the new bomb card.


link to variant thread
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Buvox Rushianikchyd
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Roxxor McOwnage wrote:
There is an official 2 player variant that makes the game a little easier, perhaps it offsets any increased difficulty?

official variant rule wrote:
If you defuse a bomb and still have a die or two left to place, you can clear the defused bomb, take a new bomb card, and then you can place your unplaced dice onto the new bomb card.


link to variant thread


Thanks for the response!

That is quite helpful and I've been playing that way lately. I think it does something to mediate the proportional difference in difficulty (in some circumstances, if you can complete a bomb, you will get an additional card's worth of dice placement options). I still think it doesn't really address the proportional difference in difficulty (in a 2-player game when you can't complete a bomb with the first die, you still have half as many placement options and are required to place the same amount of dice as in a 4-player game).

I guess maybe I should find a better way of directing my question to the designer, as I'm trying to understand if there's some reason why this proportional discrepancy doesn't matter/why it wasn't addressed more directly by rule changes (for example, 2 players being able to have more cards, roll fewer dice or be required to place fewer dice per roll, etc.).

Perhaps I should also note, that the designers DID compensate for this issue in the solitaire game, by having the single player play with 4 cards and only roll and place 3 dice. This seems to be an experience much more on-par with what the difficulty of a 4-player game is.

When I play with 2 players however, regardless of whether I play with the official 2-player variate or not, the game play changes VASTLY as I'm much more likely to have to re-roll unused dice in the 2-player game as opposed to the 4-player game. This just seems odd to me and compounds the problem of proportionality in addition to being a direct result of it.

I realize that I should probably just stop beating a dead horse and either make house rules or ignore the fact that there is this discrepancy and embrace the game for what it is (I do like the idea A LOT and like the 4-player game quite a bit), but I figured it might be an interesting discussion to have if other's had ideas about why the game is designed this way.
 
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Grant Fikes
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Abilene
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I don't think this has been mentioned, but in a 2-player game, you have the option of taking two dice and putting them on the same card. This is incredibly useful for the 4-point card that requires two dice of the same color/number combination.
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Matt Simpson
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We've played probably played 100+ 2 player games and think it is perfectly balanced. I've never enjoyed it with 3 or 4 since it takes a lot longer to complete a card.

Try playing with the 2 row 6s, they're actually easier sometimes

Edit: if you have a hard time winning, stack the deck with easier cards until you really get a handle on strategy and such
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